Scalp Botox Can Protect Your Fancy Blowout, But Is It Safe?

If you're addicted to hot yoga or amped-up cycling, you know what it can do to your bod -- long, lean muscles and a desirable BMI. But you also know what it can do to your hair. If you had a style, it's now a sweaty mess, or at least a slicked-back ponytail. That's fine for wash-and-wear types, but for the blowout-addicted, we hear that the latest trend is getting Botox injections on your scalp to curb sweating, thus saving your 'do while you're just do-ing it.


As you well know, most people get Botox to relax wrinkles. But it's also used to treat hyperhidrosis, or excess sweating -- usually in the underarms, hands, and feet. One doc who has clients clamoring for this so-called (by us) "Botox for your bangs" is Dendy Engleman, MD, of Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City, who feels that it's safe, if unusual.

This procedure doesn't interfere with hair growth, according to Dr. Engleman. "In fact, there are some ongoing studies that are using injected Botox as a treatment for hair loss," she says. "This could be a potential benefit to create thicker hair."

I decided to run this by my favorite dermatologist -- and the only one who has to-date stuck a Botox needle in my brow -- Doris J. Day, MD, of Manhattan, who's the author of Forget the Facelift: Dr. Day Turns Back the Clock with a Revolutionary Program for Ageless Skin

"I've been getting questions about this and it's an interesting topic," Dr. Day says. "While Botox is FDA approved for excessive sweating under the arms (axillary hyperhidrosis), and works amazingly well there, it's not recommended or approved for the scalp." 

I suggested it might help me hang on a bit longer to the smoothing benefits of my pricey keratin treatments, which tend to vanish with the summer sun -- and sweat. (My stylist told me that, basically, salt shucks the keratin right off the follicle.) Dr. Day didn't buy it. 

"Keratin treatments last less long in the summer more due to humidity than to sweating from the scalp," she says. "Hair also grows a little faster in the summer than in the winter and that may affect how long the keratin treatment lasts."

Her verdict on saving your hair at the expense of your wallet: "I don't consider it to be worth it or even a good idea," she says. "When you work out, you sweat on your scalp to help with temperature control. This is different from the reasons you sweat under your arms (which is more anxiety-based for those with hyperhidrosis)." Plus, it's not cheap -- costing anywhere from $800 to $1,200, or more, depending on how much you need.

A budget-friendly solution: Try a stretchy headband, a high pony, and a spritz of dry shampoo at the back of the neck before an especially brutal class. 

Whatever you do, don't let fear of breaking a sweat keep you from being a good sport! 


Image via Alan Poulson Photography/shutterstock




Read More >